© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2002
Wind can be an angler's worst enemy. Most TV forecasts are for land. To get marine updates, call (727) 822-0022. When a voice answers, press 3. This will connect you with the PORTS weather buoy. The next thing you'll hear is current wind speeds for Tampa Bay. When a TV weatherperson says the wind is 10 knots, call the buoy and find out the wind speed over water. Generally it will be 10-15 mph stronger than the land report.
When the wind dies, look for tarpon and cobia on the beach. Grouper are still stacked up on the inshore spots. Redfish will be on the flats during the higher tides. Trout will be in the thicker grass if the water is semiclear. Permit schools are showing up on the shallow sandbars that line the mouth of Tampa Bay. Reports of big snook in the back country are coming in from both sides of the bay. By now most of the large snook are in the passes to spawn around the new and full moon. Outgoing tides are the most productive for catch and release.
Having a hard time finding something to eat? There is great mackerel action over the near-shore hard bottoms and lower part of Tampa Bay. Throw out a chum block during a strong tide in areas that are holding bait schools and the macks will stack up in the slick.
-- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.